Julia Gaffney ’23 Takes Third Place in Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest


08.16.22 — Julia Gaffney ’23 has placed third in the 2022 Howard C. Schwab Memorial Essay Contest. This highly competitive award is sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Family Law to promote interest and scholarship in family law. Gaffney’s essay, “‘The Gold Standard of Child Welfare’ Under Attack: The Indian Child Welfare Law and Brackeen v. Haaland,” was assessed by a panel of five judges on the basis of originality, quality of analysis, quality of research, style and organization, and practicality and timeliness of subject matter. The essay has been submitted to the ABA Section of Family Law’s Family Law Quarterly for consideration for publication.

“I am incredibly honored and grateful to receive this award,” said Gaffney, who has served as a managing editor for the Northeastern University Law Review. “I hope my essay can stand as an advocacy piece for Indigenous rights and that it helps to promote conversation regarding the intersection of Indigenous rights, child welfare and family law. Congratulations to the other finalists and thank you to the American Bar Association’s Section of Family Law for this honor!”

At Northeastern, Gaffney has completed co-ops as a judicial intern for the Honorable Frank M. Gaziano at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and as a legal intern at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein, a Boston-based public interest firm. She has also served as a teaching assistant for the Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program and as a research assistant for Professor Daniel Medwed. Gaffney plans to co-op with the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic this fall.

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

For more information, contact d.feldman@northeastern.edu